Fever, cough and shortness of breath are considered the most common symptoms of the new coronavirus in the early stages of an outbreak. However, an actual test is also required to confirm the infection, as fever, cough and shortness of breath can also be a symptom of a disease such as influenza. As doctors obtained more data from PATIENTs with COVID-19, they began to observe more signs that might be associated with infection. Muscle pain, chills, and sore throatmay may be symptoms of COVID-19, but they are still not unique enough to diagnose the disease. We then learned that some unusual symptoms, such as loss of smell and taste, changes in the nervous system and heart, and skin lesions may be caused by neo-coronaviruses.
The researchers confirmed that this sudden loss of smell and taste was caused by the new coronavirus, which they explained in detail. Some new studies suggest that fever is not actually a reliable indicator of COVID-19 infection.
The first study, from the Cambridge Health Alliance, a subsidiary of Harvard University, was published in the Mayo Clinic Papers Collection. The researchers analyzed data from 1,000 patients at a COVID-19 clinic in Greater Boston to find differences between COVID-19 and other diseases that may have similar symptoms. For example, they found that shortness of breath in patients with COVID-19 worsened within a few days and developed gradually. This condition can affect simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. Anxiety-induced shortness of breath can flare up.
Shortness of breath occurs four or five days after infection with COVID-19, but not all of them do. Others may have symptoms that match low oxygen levels, such as dizziness. The study warns that doctors should be aware of the difference between SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and other types of pneumonia, noting the “striking similarity” between them.
Fever is not a “reliable indicator” of infection. The virus “only manifests itself when the body temperature is slightly elevated.” And the disease can start with just a cough and no other symptoms. Olfactory loss in the first five days is a more reliable early warning, the study said. The virus can also cause patients to “severe physical pain and fatigue.”
The researchers also distinguished the flu from COVID-19 by looking at symptoms. “People with influenza rarely experience significant shortness of breath, ” the researchers said in a statement. “When they have breathing difficulties, their shortness of breath is mild and stable. In rare cases, when the flu causes viral pneumonia, the patient rapidly worsens within the first two to three days. “
In addition, doctors from Europe surveyed 1,420 patients from 18 hospitals and analysed the clinical performance of the disease in Europe. They also found that only fever occurred in 45 per cent of cases, with the most common symptoms in mild to moderate cases including headache (70.3 per cent) and loss of smell (70.2 per cent).
Clinical manifestations of mild to moderate Covid-19 varied widely depending on the age and gender characteristics of patients. Olfactory dysfunction appears to be an important underrated symptom of mild to moderate Covid-19 and needs to be recognized by WHO.
The European study was published in the journal Journal of Internal Medicine. A different study also suggests that doctors should not focus solely on fever and cough when looking clinically for a diagnosis of COVID-19. A lot of people get infected and, of course, they don’t show any symptoms. Therefore, the best way to diagnose COVID-19 and screen for new coronaviruses is through proper testing.